The Birthday Daiquiri

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Howdy y’all! It’s been a minute! How is everyone doing? Are we all collectively melting into a pool of sweat and heatstroke?

Last week was my Birfday and I had a fun filled week! It all started on Sunday when I decided I would “ring it in” with a couple of Daiquiri variations. I liked one of them enough to do a proper write up and so I present to you:

The Birthday Daiquiri!

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What’s so special about this Daiquiri that now it’s my Official Birthday Drink™? Just check the ingredients:

  1. Denizen Aged White Rum*: hands down the most used Rum in my Home Bar cause it’s totally flavorful and super versatile. I love this Rum. #TeamDenizen
  2. Apricot Liqueur + St. George Absinthe Verte: recently discovered this flavor combo and DAMNNNNNNN, it’s fabulous! Put these two in a drink and your mouth will rejoice!
  3. Lime and Cane Sugar syrup: cause it’s a Daiquiri and we’re keeping it classic

*Note, Denizen Aged White Rum has a brown label now. I’m still working through this bottle and will get the updated bottle soon.

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Pro Tip: I’ve put the Absinthe into a lil bottle with a dropper cause I’ve started adding it by the drop for more control.

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Why no garnish? Cause when shit is this delicious, you don’t need to add anything else!

The Birthday Daiquiri

  • 2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz 1:1 Cane Sugar Syrup
  • 8 drops St. George Absinthe Vert
  • No Garnish

Combine ingredients and shake it like a rocket. Double strain into chilled coupe. Sip, smile, IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY NOW!

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If you’re an August baby like me and it really is your Birthday, Happy Happy to youuuu! Cheers!

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The Captain’s Leave

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Happy Friday to all you #IrishWhiskeyMonth party people! It’s finally spring in NYC and I’m so happy not to be wearing a million layers, and a jacket, and a hat, and gloves, and giant snow boots. To celebrate this change of season, I’ve made a Tiki Drink with Teeling Small Batch Whiskey.

If you wanna join the fun, use the hashtag #IrishWhiskeyMonth on Instagram and I’ll repost your photo! The only rule is that you have to include Irish Whiskey in your cocktail.

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Hello dreamy umbrella, cherry & piña. You make me wanna swoop off to a tropical beach!

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Here are your cast of characters:

  1. I wanted to put Teeling Small Batch with…
  2. Apricot Liqueur cause it’s warm and sunny out. #happiness
  3. I knew the Orange Flower and Almond notes in Orgeat Syrup would go well with Apricot.
  4. Lastly, Lemon Juice for acid, length, and to balance the sweetness.

This combination of flavors was also inspired by two classic cocktails: an Army & Navy and a Colonel Cocktail (1937 version: Whiskey, Apricot Liqueur, Grapefruit, Simple Syrup).

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The name of the drink is an homage to the two cocktails mentioned above, except that the commanding officer in question is on holiday. The Captain has left the ship, is headed to a deserted island, and is on leave. Don’t call, he won’t pick up the phone.

The Captain’s Leave

  • 1 3/4 oz Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 1/4 oz Rothman and Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • Garnish: Tiki Umbrella, Pineapple Chunk, Maraschino Cherry

Combine ingredients over ice and shakity-shake-shake. Strain into double rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish. Tiki time.

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Suuuuuuper dreamy. Welcome to the weekend y’all! Have an excellent #IrishWhiskeyMonth!

Beach Nut Punch

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Hey, y’all. Ever had one of those days where you wish you were at the beach by an actual jungle, and not stomping around the concrete jungle?

Me too.

My still-tanned girlfriend and I returned from Tulum, MX two weeks AGO (how the tiiiiiiime flies), but seriously y’all, I MISS IT EVERY SINGLE DAY.

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Well, since I can’t be living that beach life all the time, I thought I’d shake off my landlocked sadness with a tasty tropical cocktail.

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For this particular recipe, I started with Apricot Liqueur and worked my way along. Apricot and almond flavors go really well together, so I grabbed the Orgeat syrup, and a Lime from my fridge. Then it was time to pick a Rum. Hmmm. Which Rum? An Aged Rum! I have a few Aged Rums in my home bar and decided to go with Angostura 7 Year, a molasses based Trinidadian Rum, because it has a bit of funk to it and a short finish. For the final ingredient, it seemed natural to add a couple of dashes of Angostura Bitters.

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Beach Nut Punch

  • 2 oz Angostura 7 Year Rum (sub: aged Jamaican Rum)
  • 1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherries

Combine ingredients over ice and rapidly shake. Double strain into coupe and garnish.

IMPORTANT: Though I’ve called this drink a “punch” (because it has Spirit, spice, water, citrus), it’s really a cocktail or a “Punch for One.” I just really liked the way the phrase Beach Nut Punch sounds.

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Cheers! May this tasty drink make you feel like you’ve escaped to the beach!

#NegroniWeek 2015 – Negroni-Apri

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Welcome to #NegroniWeek 2015! “Always and foreverrrrr, you will be my Negroni Babyyyyy.” (Excerpted from my upcoming hit single about the Negroni).  Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can find out all about it here.

Now, if you’re like me, you may be running out of that Bottled Negroni that we discussed in a post from May 31st. That’s ok, we can make variations on Negroni without using Bottled Negroni, in fact, I’ve done so very many times.

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For the spectacular Negroni-Apri, I’m subbing Aperol + Apricot Liqueur for Campari, Carpano Dry Vermouth for Carpano Antica, and keeping the Plymouth Gin (never not Plymouth Gin). To this we add Orange Bitters, that lovely Orange Peel rose and BOOM, we’ve got a totally fabulous summery Negroni variation.

Negroni-Apri

  • 1 1/4 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1 1/4 oz Carpano Dry
  • 3/4 oz Aperol
  • 1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 7 dashes of Regan’s Orange Bitters (yes, 7 dashes)
  • Garnish: Orange Peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into double rocks glass over ice. Garnish with Orange Peel rose.

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Practically perfect in every way. 

First Waltz: an orchestra in a Cocktail

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Edit: if you’re here for #SherryWeek, get ready for one of the best Sherry Cocktails ever. 🙂

I’ve been sitting on this one for a couple of weeks cause it’s the best stirred drink with Gin that I’ve ever made. No seriously, it is. It’s a total showstopper. I’m holding my breath just writing about it. I’m actually drinking a different Cocktail (Ancho Chile Tequila, Pineapple, Cointreau some other stuff that I won’t divulge, #TequilaSeason) and thinking of throwing it out and making another First Waltz.

Ok, enthusiasm overload aside, the real deal with this is that I’ve been working on creating flavour arcs. I want my Cocktails to take us on a journey, to make our mouths and noses say, “oh this is…woah, now it’s…oh my goodness…duuuuude.” I feel like a great drink should take you on an adventure. In the way that a really great Bordeaux will take you straight to that region of France and change several times in your mouth/nose, cocktail ingredients should enter at different times once you’ve taken a sip.

Perhaps we should think of fine Cocktails like we think of an orchestra.

For First Waltz we experience: Gin, wide on the bright tones and treble (brass, wind instruments). Dolin Blanc providing a great support in the mid range (viola, violin, upper cello range). Fino sherry in the long base notes with fig, raisin, nuttiness, and salinity (double bass, bass clarinet, tuba, timpani). Finally Apricot again as a bright, trebbly wide note (flute, oboe solo, cymbals). The Apricot is actually what stays in your mouth the longest and which inspired the name of this springiest of spring cocktails. The Nutmeg garnish merely serves to reinforce the nutty notes of the Fino Sherry and tie the drink together (the conductor).

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Blüten der Wachauer Marille (Apricot blooms from the Klosterneuberg region, these are called Marille locally)

Both Rothman & Winter and the Bitter Truth Apricot liqueurs come from Aprikosen in the Klostenberg region of Austria. So, no matter which Apricot liqueur you choose, you get the most beautiful Apricot and Floral notes. From such a lovely liqueur comes great inspiration. Of course my musical mind immediately went to the Strauss family and their legacy of waltzes.

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First Waltz

  • 2 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/4 oz* Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur (or Bitter Truth Apricot)
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine ingredients over ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into chilled coupe, garnish with freshly grated Nutmeg.

*Keep in mind that this is a very exact recipe. Too much Apricot and the whole drink is off.

By the bye, this is totally a Flavor Bible drink meaning that I looked up Apricot in the bible and went from there. If you don’t have this book, get it! It’s the best tool for anyone creating recipes in the Kitchen.

May this be as exciting to you as it was to me! Bravo!

Fruity Cocktails with Fino Sherry

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Edit: If you’re here for #SherryWeek, have an excellent time with these recipes!

Y’all, I have been waiting for this post ever since I got that bottle of Inocente Fino Sherry back in January. From the moment I put my lips on this Sherry, I knew, I knew it was going to go with fruit and I knew I was going to use it Long or Tiki style.

I’ve been biding my time.

Today on Instagram, I was challenged to make a Fog Cutter by @el_nova_1 (the person behind last week’s Navy Grog challenge who loves Tiki as much as many of us do) and make the drink immediately! It’s DAMN FABULOUS! LIKE DAAAAAAAYUM FABULOUS. Citrusy, dry, great flavour arc, deep. I’m in luv. With this challenge comes a great opportunity for me to post a couple of other Fruity Sherry drinks I’ve had sitting in my notebook.

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First things first about this Fog Cutter: I don’t have any Grape Brandy! I only have Calvados! The recipe also calls for Cream or Amontillado Sherry and I only have Fino Sherry. So, like any good Home Bar Gurrrrrrl, I’ve made some adjustments (ahem, Old Tom Gin) and named the variation “Karl the Fog Cutter” after my beloved San Francisco Bay Area’s archnemesis (or claim to fame), Karl the Fog.

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Karl the Fog Cutter

  • 2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Calvados
  • 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry (float)
  • 2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Orange Juice
  • 3/4 oz Orgeat
  • Garnish: Sherry float, Orange wedge with Maraschino Cherry spear, Monkey

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into Tiki Mug or Collins Glass over Cracked Ice. Float the Sherry, garnish with Orange wedge with Maraschino Cherry and Monkey.

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This next one came from a flavour pairing obsession I currently have: Fino Sherry + Apricot Liqueur. It’s to die for. The nuttiness from the Orgeat & Fino go sooooo well with the Apricot. Literally the greatest thing since Smith & Cross Rum + Teeling Irish Whiskey. This one is straight up Tiki, so be sure you have a mint sprig and some Orgeat ready to go!

Marley’s Map

  • 1 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Rum
  • 1/2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, two Pineapple chunks and a Maraschino Cherry

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into double Rocks glass or short Tiki mug over ice. Garnish with Mint sprig, two Pineapple chunks and a Maraschino Cherry.

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Now back to that Cobbler. Goodness, I get such a thrill out of making and/or drinking a Cobbler! This one came to me in the night and I had to write it down before I fell asleep. Again, we’re using the glorious Apricot + FIno Sherry combo along with Carpano Antica Vermouth, Old Tom Gin, and Boker’s Bitters. I wanted this one to taste Old Skool/Pre-Prohibition.

I definitely Flavor Bible’d the Rosemary + Blueberry + Strawberry + Lemon + Orange flavours. If you don’t have the Flavor Bible yet…get to it!

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Stafford Cobbler

  • 1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1 1/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz Honey Syrup
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
  • Small handful of Blueberries, muddled
  • Garnish: Strawberry, Blueberry, Orange wheel, Rosemary sprig

In tin, combine Lemon Juice and Blueberries and muddle. Add remaining ingredients, ice and short shake. Strain into Stemmed glass filled with ice and fruit, Orange wedge and Rosemary Sprig on top. Serve with a straw and a spoon so your guests may eat the fruit!

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Yassssss gurrrrrrrl, Ms Stafford Cobbler, lemme get real close.

Thanks again to The Baddish Group for the fantastic bottle of Carpano Antica!

You’re So Kind + Recent Acquisitions Apr 2015

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Y’all, I got some new stuff and replenished some old stuff so let’s talk about it!

Plymouth Gin – I will always and forever hold Plymouth in the highest regard. It is the best English Dry Gin and the most versatile. I use it in every Gin cocktail possible but it really stands out in Sours, Martinis and all the classics. Specifically, check it out in The Oldest Living Confederate Widow.

Pimm’s No 1 – Something inside of my head snapped and said, “IT’S SPRING AND IT’S PIMM’S SEASON!” Check out my Ceylon Pimm’s Cup on BarNotes.

Amaro CioCiaro – I have read much about this Amaro and how it’s the best option for us modern folks to get something like the original Amer Picon. I finally had some as a digestivo at Walter’s a few weeks ago and wow, it’s wonderfully orange! I’m going to use it in Tiki, I totally am.

Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur – I’ve been eye’ing this one for awhile as well. There are a lot of Classic Cocktails with Apricot liqueur and I plan to make them all. Oh and totally gonna use it in Tiki. (shocking, I know)

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I am proud to post the above photo and humbled that I am privileged to have this. I feel like I need to pinch myself everytime I look at this bottle. In fact, let’s look at it again, shall we.

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I secretly got this from a secret bartender at a secret bar that I totally cannot talk about but if you’re reading this, thank you so much. The secret person who did this is SO KIND! I’m about to cry with excitement and emotion!

Hendrick’s Quinetum – This ultra rare, not sold in stores, limited edition Hendrick’s Quinine Cordial was developed by master distiller Lesley Gracie specifically to be used with Gin. Essentially, it’s tonic syrup and a most delicious one at that.  In Lesley’s words “What most bartenders will immediately pick up on is the orange nose, giving way to subtle lavender notes.  The taste has a deep green, bitter flavor from the wormwood, holy thistle and, of course, quinine.  Bartenders should find this combination amiable for crafting into cocktails with Hendrick’s characteristic floral notes and spicy bitterness, which comes from the caraway seed and cubeb berries.” Yes please. I will be using it, as intended, with Gin.

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Well, that’s all for now! Recipes coming SOOOOOOON.